Ministry of Margaret Nelson
Uganda, Africa

August 29, 2007

Mustard Seed Sprouts

As you've read in recent newsletters, God has been teaching us at New Life Centre Church about the spiritual principle of sowing and reaping from 1 Corinthians 9: 6-15. A recent addition to this lesson for me was a personal study on Genesis 26 where Isaac was going to head on down to Egypt with his family to escape the famine that was in his land. That was what was traditionally done, as with the Nile River flowing through Egypt, there was rarely famine there, as there was more often in Canaan. But God spoke to Isaac, saying, I am with you, and I want to bless you. Stay put! So Isaac stayed and planted his crops. In a time of famine? No rain? Doesn't make sense, and yet within the year, Isaac received 100-fold increase from his crops!

When we are obedient to God, there is often a time of "famine," a time of difficulties, waiting and learning to trust Him, no matter how things may appear. Even without famine, there still is a natural time of waiting for seed to sprout, grow, produce, and then be harvested.

This past week New Life Centre Church was approached by one of the construction companies that is building a new highway across Uganda which passes through our Luweero area. They wanted to buy murram, a red, clay/gravel mixture that is naturally found in our area, from the church's 4 acres. Murram makes excellent road beds, and much is needed for this cross-country road construction.

Due to environmental protection laws, as the company removes murram, it removes the top soil to the side. When the job is finished, the land is leveled and the top soil replaced. We had already seen them do this in other areas, as well as rebuilding the access roads to the site. Ultimately, they leave the area looking better than when they started the job. But since they wanted a contract for a year, there were various concerns, such as how deep the excavation site would be, as we intend to fully develop the acreage, with multiple buildings to serve church, school, and income-generating project, as God provides.

But after several days of intense prayer, bargaining, consultation with knowledgeable people and engineers, Pastor David Kasule signed a contract to allow the construction company to excavate the murram from part of the church land for a given amount of time.

Jesus said that if we have faith even as tiny as a mustard seed, that we can move mountains. This land God provided for our church and school is undeveloped, needing clearing and leveling before development can take place. In the normal course of things, this probably would've been done by hiring inmates from a local rural prison to come with spades, hoes and machetes to clear the land, and of course such manual labor wouldn't really level the land. But as our church planted their 450 shillings seed (27 cents) 2 months ago into the building fund, it sprouted into a temporary pole and roof building. We considered that building as another seed towards the permanent buildings and other development for the 4 acres.

Now God is causing a big foreign construction company to come and PAY New Life Centre to clear the land and remove the soil with heavy equipment and dump trucks, doing the necessary leveling of our land! The income from the sale of the murram will go to help New Life Academy to educate our orphans. So through this project, God is providing in multiple ways for our ministry needs. The mountain is literally being removed as a result of our tiny mustard-seed faith.

So how can we fail to believe that it is God's intention to continue to provide for us down the road, developing our orphan project through New Life Academy, putting up permanent buildings, and providing for the establishment of income-generating projects?

Margaret Nelson